Places To Visit In Gangtok - Gangtok Tourist Guide , Sikkim Tourist Guide , Sikkim Tourism - Holiday Travel

Places To Visit In Gangtok

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Places to visit in Gangtok

Tsomgo Lake / Gangtok Lake: The glacial Tsomgo Lake is located at an altitude of 3,780 meters above sea level. It is also called as Changu Lake and is crossed by the Nathu la Pass on the north. This is one of the few and awesome high altitude lakes in India. The lake becomes doubly attractive with the reflections of the surrounding hills on the water. Tsomgo Lake is oval in shape and approximately 1km. long. It has an average depth of about 50 ft. it was created by the snow melted water from the mountains around the lake & a river namely Lungtze Chu has been created from Tsomgo Lake. The lake further falls into Rangpo-chu.

 

Saramsa Garden: Saramsa Garden was established in 1922 and has served various purposes. This is a vast stretch of landscaped garden located about 14kms from Gangtok Town and near Ranipool. It's ideal for leisure, recreation and picnic. The purpose behind setting up of the garden was to cater to the needs of the British officers as well as the former Namgyal Royal family. Various fruit trees such as banana, orange, pineapple and guava were grown here. The Forest Department introduced Cephaelis Ipecacuanha, a medicinal plant in the year 1940.

 

Ganesh Tok View Point: Ganesh Tok is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesh, it is so small that only one person can crawl into the temple at a time. However, the main thing to be notices here is its unique location which acts like a viewpoint. The view point is set at a height of 6500 m and offers spectacular sights of the snow capped peaks. There is a small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha at the view point. The temple is so small that it can accommodate just one person at a time.

 

Tashi View Point:  Tashi View Point is one of the major attractions of Gangtok and is located at a distance of 8 km from the town. The place is a must visit for nature lovers as it offers great views of the imposing Himalayan mountains, specifically Mount Kanchenjunga and Siniolchu.  This is basically a sunrise point to watch the majestic panorama of Mt. Kanchenjunga and Mt. Siniolchu with other snow clad peaks and can have an experience of the change of colour of snow on the mountains during the Sunrise. A resting shed and a small cafeteria situated at Tashi View Point provides shelter and other amenities to the tourists. A park above the View Point is a good place to enjoy a picnic.

 

Tashi View Point

Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary: Shingba Rhododendron Sanctuary is a nature park in the Indian state of Sikkim. It has forty species of rhododendron trees. It is located in the Yumthang Valley north of Lachung in North Sikkim district. Bird species found in the park include Wood snipe and Hoary-throated barwing. Vast range of flora is found at the place which includes Poppies, Rhododendrons, Primulas, Saxifrages, Gentians, Iris and much more. It is the home of spotted lingsang and tiger.

 

Hanuman Tok: Hanuman Tok is a temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The temple is surrounded by lush green parks and beautiful mountains. From the temple one gets unobstructed views of Kanchenjunga. The word “Tok” in local language means temple. Hanuman Tok is a famous temple in Gangtok dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The legend about the place suggests that Lord Hanuman halted for a rest here while carrying Sanjeevni to Lanka from the Himalayas. Tourists and pilgrims gather at the temple in large numbers to pray and wish fulfillment. The idol of Lord Hanuman was erected here in 1950 when an officer named Appaji Pant had a divine dream at this location.

 

Nathula Pass: The mighty mountain pass of Nathu La is located at an astonishing height of approximately 4,310 meters above sea level and is considered to be one of the highest motor able mountain passes in the world.  It is 56 km East of Gangtok and connects the Indian state of Sikkim to Tibet Autonomous Region in China. Nathu means "listening ears" and La means "pass" in Tibetan. This pass has historical importance and in 1904, Major Francis Young husband, serving as the British Commissioner to Tibet, led a successful mission through Nathu La to capture Lhasa. It is guarded on both sides by the Chinese and Indian soldiers.

 

 

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ACCESS

 

 By Air

Gangtok is not directly connected by air. The closest airport is at Bagdogra, West Bengal which is served by regular flights from Kolkata, Guwahati and Delhi operated by Indian Airlines and Jet Airways. The 124 km drive to Gangtok takes 5 hours and is facilitated by numerous taxis, shared jeeps and hired cars with chauffeurs. Helicopter services are also available from Bagdogra to reach Gangtok and vice-versa.

 

 By Rail

Nearest railhead is at New Jalpaiguri, which is about 125 kms from Gangtok (about 4 hrs). You can also take a train to Siliguri, which is 114 kms away from Gangtok. Siliguri and New Jalpaiguri are well connected with all the cities in India. Once here, from the station itself, tourists can get on to the tourists buses, coaches, taxis and jeeps to reach their final destination.

 

 By Road

The drive to Gangtok from Siliguri (West Bengal), 114 km away, is the shortest. Darjeeling is also connected by road to Gangtok. Taxis, buses and hired cars with drivers ply regularly on these routes as they inch past the narrow but well maintained mountain roads. There are regular Sikkim state transport buses between Gangtok and Siliguri. The drive is very scenic with the Teesta River flowing on the left hand side and the green hills on the right.

 

Note : Roads can get block due to landslides during the rainy season (June to September) and you can get stuck in Sikkim but not for more than 2 or 3 days.

For sightseeing in Gangtok you can hire a private jeep or taxi, which are available at nominal rates.

 

 

Gangtok has variety of accommodation ranging from premium to budget hotels. The premium hotels are luxurious and offer well-furnished rooms with all modern facilities.You can choose to stay in  MayFair Hotel & Resort,Suhim Portico , Elgin Nor-Khill, Hotel, Orange Village Resort, Club Mahindra, Heritage Royal Denzong Regency, Royal Plaza or The Delisso Abode Hotel. 

 

 

The standard hotels in Gangtok  cost a little less than the premium ones and features good service. You can try Tashi Delek, Hidden Forest Retreat, Mintokling Guest House, Golden Heights, Hotel Chumbi Residency, Rendezvous Hotel and Ttakshang Residency. 

 

Budget traveller  can opt for Superview Himalchuli, Sai Kripa, Sagorika Hotel, Golden Pagoda, Hotel Anola,Hotel Berries,Hotel Changlo Chen, Hotel Sonam Delek or Little Wing Hotel. These hotels will offer you simple accommodation equipped with basic amenities. Most hotels in Gangtok have their own in-house restaurant serving local cuisine.

The best time to visit Gangtok is between October and mid-December  in winters when clear views of the Himalayan peaks are guaranteed or again between March and May in summers when the flowers are in bloom.

 

The rainy season begins in June and stretches till early September marked by heavy downpour causing landslides that often disrupt communication.

 

Gangtok is one of the very few hill stations in India that is not crowded and you can enjoy  moments of pure bliss. Sightseeing in Gangtok offers panoramic view of Kanchenjunga from Tashi Viewpoint and Ganesh Tok

 

Though you will be charmed by Gangtok's serenity, there are plenty of places to go to if sightseeing is your interest. You can Start with making a trip to the famous Enchey Monastery that is built on the site blessed by Lama Druptok Korpo, a tantric "Master known for his power of flying". This 200-year-old monastery has in its premises images of gods, goddesses and other religious objects. You can also visit Pemayangtse Monastery to see its priceless antiques and idols, and to the nearby ruins of Rabdantse, the 17th century capital of Sikkim. 

 

If you want to see the Chogyal’s Palace, visit Gangtok in the last week of December when the palace is  open to the public for the Pong Labsal festival and see the masked dancers perform to the mighty Kanchenjunga. The masks depict various Gods, demons and dragons and if you want to decorate your room with some of these brightly coloured masks, you can buy them from the souvenir shops. 

 

Enhance your knowledge on Tibet with a visit to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology. The institute houses some rare manuscripts, books as well as priceless artifacts of rare Lepcha. You can also visit some of the other monasteries and stupas in the city itself. The Do-Drul Chorten is one of the most important stupas in Sikkim and is encircled by 108 prayer wheels. Rotate the wheels and ask for a wish and maybe the Enlightened One will fulfill your prayer. 

 

Like most hill stations, Gangtok also has its share of some rare orchids that bloom all through the year. The Orchid Sanctuary houses over 200 species of rare orchids and is a treat.

Yumthang Valley: Located at a distance of 126 kms from Gangtok in North Sikkim , is the place of hot springs that have healing properties. The valley is covered with beautiful and colorful flowers, most of them are endangered and rare specially Rhododendron and Primula. The best time to visit here is during February/March, when the valley seems to be a flowerbed, although till June first travelers use to come over here to fill up their travel thirst.

 

Rumtek Monastery: Rumtek Monastery is the largest monastery in Sikkim. It is located in Eastern Sikkim at a distance of 22 kms from Gangtok. It is a holy pilgrimage site for the Buddhists, which is also known as the Dharma Chakra Centre in History and people's mind. It remained an important seat of the Karma Kagyu lineage for several years.

 

Tsongmo Lake: Also known as Changu Lake located at a distance of 43 kms from Gangtok. It is a place of worship for the Sikkimese with a landmark of a historic Shiva temple located close to the lake. It's water's colour was used to predict future in earlier times, by the Buddhist saints. The Lake and its nearby areas offering a quiet pleasant and eye cashing sight for the travelers spending their evening.

 

Pelling: For an awesome sightseeing of the tallest Kanchenjunga peak, Pelling is the perfect choice which is situated at a distance of 131 kms from Gangtok. Just peep from the luxury and comfortable resorts and hotels here, you can have a glimpse of the great Himalayan peak. Apart from the mountain peaks, other attractions of the place are Pemayangtse Monastery, Kechepalri Lake and Sangay Waterfall.

 

Tedong Hill: Tedong Hill is another famous attraction of Sikkim , known for its picturesque views of the greenery, green hills, vast valleys and tranquil atmosphere. It's located in South Sikkim . Tedong Hill is mostly visited by Buddhist monks and pilgrims. Although thousands of travelers used to come over here round the year to meditate in the peaceful ambiance.

 

Besides above there are various options available for adventure sports and activities in Sikkim throughout. It would definitely be a thrilling experience to try out mountaineering here on the Kanchenjunga Peak of great Himalaya , strictly for the trained climbers. For Rock Climbing, one can explore Kabru and Sinolchu. One can also try out other sports and adventurous activities like mountain biking, river rafting, hang gliding, kayaking and other less dangerous and fun activities like fishing, yak safari etc. All the above mentioned enthralling sports and adventure activities will definitely slake your thirst for unforgettable adventure.

Nightlife in Gangtok

If you like to party hard while on vacation, then there are a few options for nightlife in Gangtok. Even though Gangtok might not offer much, but it does have a few bars and nightclubs. They have emerged recently due to the emergence of traveling opportunities in Sikkim.

 

X'cape is the face of nightlife in Gangtok, playing its beats from 4pm till midnight. Here you will come across a young and enthusiastic crowd grooving their away on the dance floor. The club offers exotic cocktails and fine spirits along with delicious food. The entry fee is INR 400 per person. The club is open from 7.30pm to 11.30pm from Thursday to Sunday.

 

Lounge 31a  is a stylish and trendy place which offers a great ambience. Located four storeys high, the majestic glass architecture offers Zen aesthetics and beautiful sunset views. Being one of the famed night club, it offers everything from Hookahs to alcoholic drinks, from Cocktails to Mocktails and from Indian to International cuisines. Situated near the city's main highway, this place is known for its warm and cozy ambience. It features an intimate sitting area on the first floor and a lounge on the mezzanine floor.  

 

Unlike its name, Orthodox Bar & Lounge offers a wide range of beers and cuisine selection at pretty low prices. Even though tables are squeezed together, couples can enjoy cozy evenings without any problem. It is open from morning seven to ten at night.

 

Pub 25 is located right in the heart of MG road, this upscale pub offers great drinks, tasty food and an amazing ambience. Food lovers should definitely try the Malai Tikka and Sauteed Mushrooms. Even though the price is higher as compared to the other pubs, it's definitely worth a visit. A very classic British ambiance, this place offers a variety of cocktails and liquors that is well complimented with an equally impressive food menu. Open till 11pm, it is best suited for anyone who wants to enjoy a hearty meal and a drink.


 

Indulge Karaoke Restaurant has huge windows overlooking MG road which add to the openness of this place with its white decor and curvy designs. Serving some of the most popular and reasonably priced alcohol along with live entertainment, this place boasts an assorted ambience and a karaoke bar and is ideal to spend an evening sipping on your favorite cocktail and gorging on continental and Italian delicacies. 

Gangtok is soon turning to be a gambling hot-spot. Presently there are only two casinos in Gangtok, one is Casino “Mahjong” in Mayfair Resort. It is a full fledged onshore live casino, the first of its kind in India.Mahjong is a name of a game which was played in China and this game originally got its name after a sparrow which is still called by this name most commonly in some southern Chinese languages. Mahjong captures the real spirit of a casino.The other casino in Gangtok  is “Casino Sikkim” in Hotel Royal Plaza.

The casinos offer all kinds of games including slots, card games, roulette, poker, baccarat etc. and provide the ambiance of a world-class casino. They also offer free drinks for the punters providing plenty of action. 

 

 

You can let loose your hair in one of the many discos operating in Gangtok. The various discos running are "Code Orange", "Morph" and "Xcape". You can also enjoy live band and good cuisine at Café Live-n-Loud or "Little Italy"

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